Sorry about the lack of posting. I've been going through a life change. I left a job I'd been at for just under five years to take a job elswhere. Transitions all around!
Anyway, I haven't written one of these in even longer. It's due, in no small part, to the fact that I've been trying to think of newer and more creative ways to make Ron mad. But, I've also been eating, which has led me to another problem...
When I took on the task of putting my own stamp on the controversial "best burger in Plainfield" debate, I had hoped that a heirarchy of burgers would stand up and above the rest, and would make for a healthy debate at the top end of the rankings.
Instead, what happened was that there was a cluster of burgers right in the 17-19 point range. Some were there because they were flawed in a critical area, and some were just 17-19 point burgers. That is probably where the average burger would fall in the area.
That said, a few burgers stood out.
I've visited HopScotch & Vine since I did the review, and it's no coincidence they are expanding. They are really, really good. The burger is quality. The other items on the menu are, as well. I genuinely hope that HS & V stays in Plainfield for a long time, because having a quality restaurant like that in downtown is always a huge plus.
I wasn't expecting a really good burger from Uptown. I was proved wrong. I think it's easy sometimes to take the basics for granted. They do a great cheeseburger.
That said, I'm also using the burger as a way to segue into something else I want to go off on a (slight) tangent over.
I'd like to tip my cap to Uptown for keeping live music alive in Plainfield. And no, I don't consider one guy in an ironic hat strumming a mid '90s cover on an acoustic to be live music.
A couple weekends ago, I was in Uptown, and they had a band, fronted by owner Steve Gruben. The music was good, and more importantly, the place was PACKED. I'm glad that Uptown is still able to fill the place by having bands playing live music.
Too often, the bars in Plainfield/Naperville, etc are having DJs come in at night, which, no, is not live music. I get it. You bring in a DJ, you don't have a ton of cleanup, and you bring in a younger crowd that is probably more willing to get drunk and spend money.
It's refreshing to see a crowd enjoying live music. I usually don't go to Uptown on the weekend, but if there is live music, that's the place i'm posting up.
Now, onto the two burgers I want to specifically talk about.
The Best Value Burger in Plainfield.
The best value burger in Plainfield is in a restaurant/shop that shouldn't be known for burgers. It's in a shopping complex with a place whose burger is put to shame by this burger. Also, this burger is only 3.99.
I'm not even totally sure what my expectations were with this burger when I first ate it. I knew what i'd found after I ate it, though.
The burger is spicy and greasy. But the flavor is amazing. They spice the burger aggressively. I love it. You can taste some curry powder. You can taste cumin. You can taste garlic. I could be wrong and it could be different spices, but the point is, they spice it well.
It's not a huge burger, but it's a throwback burger. These are the kind of burgers you got at a spot on old Route 66. It's not fancy and done up with truffle oil or anything like that. But it's really, really good.
It's actually even better when juxtaposed against the burger on the other side of the shopping complex, at Penalty Box.
Now, onto the last thing that matters.
BEST BURGER IN PLAINFIELD
I took a long look at McBride's. I took a long look at HopScotch & Vine. But in the end, one burger stood out and is what I can safely refer to as "The Best Burger in Plainfield.
The Cajun burger - Moe Joe's
I didn't want to eat the boar burger at Moe Joes, because, as they proudly state, it won an award in 2011. I don't let places rest on their burger laurels. So I went after a different burger on the menu.
First off, PRETZEL ROLL! Aww, I heart you, pretzel roll. You complete me. The burger itself is big and hearty, a really filling slab of meat. It's seasoned well(you see where my preference lies) and was cooked perfectly.
There is so much to like about this burger, let me see if I can put it all together. Frying okra is difficult. Okra takes on a slimy outter feel when you try to cook it. Fying it takes a good cook to do right. The fried okra is done right. Fried onion strings? You bet.
Now, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a bit of the same problem with this burger that I did with the jalapeno popper burger at HS & V. The burger doesn't really need the lettuce and tomato because you already have cheese (optional), the okra, a remoulade sauce and a pickle.
But, it was a thinner cut of lettuce and didn't carry much of a presence on the burger. The tomato, GET OUTTA HERE!
But, at it's best, this is the No Doubt, No Second Thought, best burger in Plainfield.
So I tip a beer to everyone slinging burgers throughout the Southland, and raise a toast to Moe Joe's.
Now, I need something new to write about. Burgers Wars is done. The election is over. My guy won!
I'd write about hockey, but that's not a thing anymore. I'd write about baseball, but that's not a thing yet. I'd write about music, but I doubt you'd listen. Hmm....
Oh well, I'll figure something out.